Mole mapping and Dermoscopy begins with a consultation and full clinical examination by a Consultant Dermatologist. The Dermatologist begins by identifying and marking any suspicious moles and ones which warrant monitoring.
Next, the patient will be taken through the process of having whole body photography and dermoscopy of any moles that the dermatologist has marked. For the photography, the patient will stand on a mat at a fixed distance to allow for reproducible images to be taken by the camera on the mole mapping machine. Close up dermoscopy images are then taken of any moles identified by the dermatologist for monitoring using a hand-held dermoscope, which uses polarised light for accurate imaging. All dermoscopy images are uploaded to the patients' medical profile to allow the dermatologist to view the moles in detail. This completes the initial clinical examination.
There will be a follow-up appointment booked by the dermatologist in order to have the dermoscopic images repeated to see if there have been any changes in the moles.
In about 4-6 months' time, a follow-up appointment will be booked so that the process can be carried out in reverse order, with a repeat dermoscopy of the moles being monitored. During this appointment, the Consultant Dermatologist will review any changes in the moles in the before and after photos.
If there is a need for excision of any moles that have changed to prevent further progression, this will be performed under local anaesthetic and the specimen sent to the laboratory for a full histological diagnosis.
What should I do if I have a bleeding or itchy mole?
Bleeding or itchy moles can occur when they have been irritated or scratched – moles catching on clothing, being cut by a razor, makeup application, scratching an insect bite and hair removal are all very common triggers.